My collection just passed a major milestone, the 300 set mark. While that number does not compete with some of the truly mind boggling collections one can find on Brickset.com (where do those people get the money for all that Lego??!!!) it does probably place me above the average Lego enthusiast if for no other reason than that I have been collecting for almost 3 decades now!
Some enthusiast collect a certain them or type of set. Commonly known as “completists”, these collectors focus their energy and pocket books on securing every set within a theme, genre or other category. Star Wars and Classic Space are two themes that I have found have more completists than others. There are also poly-bag completists (that one baffles me…) and a whole range of others in the Bionicle and Technic themes. There are a couple of sub-themes that I have the complete product line (Ice Planet, Extreme Team, Islander and M-Tron) and I also have every official Lego Pirate ship. However, my collection is much more in keeping with what I call an open collection. I range far and wide securing enough sets to have what I deem would be a satisfactory play experience in any given theme or subtheme that catches my eye. In almost no part of my collection will you find a lone set from a theme or subtheme (there are a couple exceptions but they are all small). Due to my age I have a large number of sets from the 4 core themes (Pirate, Space, Castle and Town/City) but have also acquired liberal amounts of entries from the later more diverse themes (large helpings of Aquazone, Star Wars, Adventurers and more recently Exo-Force and Power Miners).
As I am an engineer I could not help but run some quick statistics. I started collecting when I was three years old so I have averaged 12 sets per year (doesn’t sound nearly as impressive when put that way!). According to Brickset.com I have spent over $7,000.00 on Legos (though it is likely far less as I inherited many sets, got others as gifts and recently have sourced all the parts for sets at a cost far less than MSRP). Including a rough estimate of my excess bricks (which probably almost equal my regular collection in piece count) I have about 143,000 individual parts. I have sets in 32 Major Themes and 76 Subthemes. My favorite year is apparently 1996 (which I consider smack in the middle of Lego’s Golden Age) as I have 22 sets from that year (Wild West, Exploriens and Pirates made that happen). Every year from 1986 onward is represented in my collection. Overall my collection is in fairly good shape, almost no lost or broken pieces though some of my hinges are getting pretty worn.